A peer mentor is a student who provides mentoring in a learning institution. The main objective of peer mentors is to ensure a conducive learning environment for students and staff. The peer mentor works in association with other staff members, particularly teachers or instructors. Peer mentors are generally expected to serve as role models to other students. Peer mentors are usually matched with younger students for one-on-one mentoring.
Education and Training
Peer mentors are students who have completed at least the first year of college. They do not need any other qualifications, since the learning institution will provide training and coaching on how to be a peer mentor. Peer mentor training includes the university guidelines and boundaries, communication skills and the role of a peer mentor.
Responsibilities and Duties
A peer mentor regularly meets with students he is mentoring. He is expected to prepare for the mentoring sessions by reading relevant literature or doing necessary research. He addresses student problems and directs them accordingly or recommends them to a staff member who can help them. He helps students learn more about their institution of learning and to develop skills such as time management, strategy, setting goals and discipline. He may be required to offer tutoring on course content in some instances.
A peer mentor is usually a voluntary position, therefore no pay is offered. However some universities or colleges provide a stipend. The amount of stipend offered is at the discretion of the university or college.
A peer mentor should have good communication skills and good relational skills. He should have an appreciation for people from diverse backgrounds. He should be reliable and committed to the students he is mentoring. He should be able to maintain confidentiality and offer sound advice. He should have good leadership skills and be self-disciplined since other students will be looking up to him.
Why You Should Become a Peer Mentor
A peer mentor works with individual students and helps them to have a smooth transition into college life. He helps students find direction both in their academic and personal lives. He will also be recognised by the university or college he mentors in for his leadership and service, which will help boost his resume.